With the reality of the 25th week of teaching firmly done and in place, one is struck with the usual feelings of frustration, disappointment, anger, irritation, sadness and most of all, fatigue as teachers. So, how better than when least expecting it we were witness to one of the best moments in near twenty years of teaching, last Friday. The INNOVATION ZONE, which we sent out information via this platform across the blogosphere, had its first student-presentations on the subject of BULLYING. Since we have been doing that as part of our syllabus we felt it right for students to produce their own materials and wow us with what they come up with. THAT THEY DID. The students gave forth astounding presentations that my colleague and I had no hand in developing, molding or editing in any way. The links to their amazing films and power points are below. The subsequent discussions led to ideas of making the films available school wide with the Hazirlik (preparatory) students doing sessions with all school grade levels, in order to get the school message out that bullying can never be a part of school life. If students believe that they can make a difference, then why shouldn't we?
Here are the links to their presentations that I feel you will get so much from. Remember, most of these students came to us in September with very weak study skills, no motivation or desire to do anything academic or creative, plus their English was poor.
They made a survey of students from middle school that led to several examples of bullied students. It was every emotional to listen to the sad stories of students under our very own roof. They plan to mentor these students for the next few months and be like study-buddies. They also made their own video reenacting some social and cyber-bullying which is prevalent all over nowadays
They collaborated with students from two other private schools to make their video for awareness of the problem. This incredible coordination, collaboration and joint outcomes had everyone's jaw dropping. The sheer determination to make t-shirts designed by Basak, then make a video with their own messages was impressive.
This group went one stage further and interviewed third-graders and how they felt about bullying. Again we could see form the little kids faces that even the very sound of the word bullying made them cringe. This for me is incredible, and shows how necessary it is for us all to focus on what bullying does to everyone unfortunate enough. They alos got together out of school and prepared pictures using make-up and scenario which were designed to shock, and that they did.
Middle-school students tend to be the group that has most issues with bullying, or at least reported. So to see students show a message with sadness, then rip up their feelings of joy was inspirational and emotional. We believe this group really tapped into the seriousness of the subject of bullying.